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nativetxn 05-02-2004 02:00 PM

Illuminations and Wishes Cruises - Find One To Share
Illuminations cruises are a fun and special way to view the Illuminations fireworks at Epcot. These cruises are very popular and require some advance planning in order to get a reservation.

You will tour seven seas lagoon prior to the beginning of Illuminations and be entertained, by your boat's pilot, with Disney trivia and views of the Boardwalk and other resorts, then you anchor beneath a bridge for an unobstructed view of the fireworks. One of the things we enjoyed the most about our Illuminations cruise was being able to just get off the boat and go to our car without fighting the huge crowd that was leaving Epcot afterwards.

Illuminations cruises are technically called "Specialty Cruises". There are 3 levels and prices for these cruises and you can read about them HERE.

There are only 5 boats available for this activity and they depart either from Boardwalk or Yacht/Beach Club Marina:

Pontoon Boats: Only 4 pontoon boats are available for this cruise. Each pontoon boat will accommodate up to 10 adults or 12 passengers if some of them are children. The cost is not determined by the number of passengers, so sharing a cruise is good idea if you want to reduce cost.

The Breathless: This is a reproduction of a 1930's ChrisCraft Runabout. It will accommodate a maximum of 7 passengers. This boat departs only from the Yacht &Beach Club Marina. This vessel has more speed than the pontoons.

In addition to the basic cost of the cruise, you should allow a gratuity for the Captain. We had 4 passengers on our cruise and tipped our Captain $25. He did a great job and paid special attention to my 6 year old nephew, my dh says now, that he wishes he had tipped him more, because he just made the whole experience wonderful.

How to book an Illuminations Cruise:

You need to call 407-939-7529 exactly 90 days before the date you want to reserve. You can determine when to call by using the DIS's priority seating calculator if you CLICK HERE

Since these cruises are so much in demand, start calling about 6:55 am est. If you get a recording that they are not open yet, disconnect and immediately hit redial. If you get the recording thanking you for calling hit #3 right away, as soon as the second recording begins press #2, when the third recording begins press either your reservation number or phone number and finish with the pound sign. Then press #1, then #2. This will take you to a reservationist, if you have to hold do not disconnect or you go to the bottom of the queue.

When the reservationist answers do not make small talk, immediately tell him/her that you want to reserve the 8PM specialty cruise for such and such date.Do not ask to reserve an Illuminations cruise or you will waste time hearing that there is no such thing. After you get your reservation you can talk all you want, but these cruises are very difficult to reserve and seconds count when thousands of people are competing for only 5 boats.

When the reservationist indicates that you have obtained the reservation, tell him/her that you want to see Illuminations. He/she will then make arrangements for your cruise to depart the marina about 1/2 hour before Illuminations begins.

You will be told that they cannot guarantee that you will see Illuminations. They tell you this because, if Illuminations is delayed for any reason, your boat will still return to the marina at the end of your hour. So far, there have been no known instances where Illuminations was not seen.

If you have flexibility in your WDW itinerary, it is best to try to reserve a cruise for the first night you have available. That way, if you don't get the reservation, you can try the next day and the next, if necessary.

If you are unable to secure a reservation for an Illuminations cruise, do not give up. Cancellations happen every day. Keep calling and trying for that reservation, even when you are in WDW. I was told by a captain of one of these cruises that his boat has often sat idle because someone cancelled. You can snag a cancellation. I know, because I was lucky enough to get a cancelled cruise only 6 weeks before our trip last year.

You can also sometimes find someone who has a reservation already and is willing to share the space and cost of his cruise with you. The Illuminations Cruise Central posts on the Theme Parks board are there to help people match up for these cruises. There is an Illuminations Cruise Central for each month, beginning 3 months ahead of time.

If you want to try to find a cruise to share, or if you have a reservation for a cruise already and are willing to share with others please post to thread.

Good luck getting a reservation for an Illuminations Cruise, I hope this information is helpful to you.


momto1 01-12-2009 11:07 AM

April 7th Cruise - Looking for more cruisers!
We booked an Specialty Illuminations Cruise for April 7th. We are a family of five - me, dh, ds12, mil and fil. The 7th is my mil birthday. We are looking to share our cruise with 5 others.

We would meet at the Marina ouside the Yacht club at 8:00. Cruise leaves at 8:30. We will divide the cost and tip by the number of cruisers. If we get a full boat, it will be $36 per person.
Anyone want to join us? PM me.

MarkinNM 01-12-2009 06:25 PM

Anybody have resies for June, 15-21?? Family of 4, let me know.....

MyMuse 01-12-2009 10:39 PM

March 12, 13, 14, 2009
Hi there. I might be interested in sharing a cruise on any of those dates. Some other nights, maybe, I have to check the itin.

Is there a separate thread for the MK Wishes cruise? I am a solo traveler, so it would just be me. I do have family visiting me on my trip, but I doubt they would want to come.


Crazy Hakim 01-13-2009 07:18 AM


Originally Posted by momto1 (Post 29621834)
We would meet at the Marina outside the Yacht club at 8:00. Cruise leaves at 8:30


Check in is at 8pm, that is correct, but most times the boat leaves around 8:10-8:20, 8:30 is a late departure. Make sure all your guests are there at 8pm.

momto1 01-13-2009 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by Crazy Hakim (Post 29639585)

Check in is at 8pm, that is correct, but most times the boat leaves around 8:10-8:20, 8:30 is a late departure. Make sure all your guests are there at 8pm.

Thanks! We have done this 2x before and I should have remembered that! DH made the ressie and that is what he was told. Good reminder. I would hate for someone to miss the cruise.

Now..still need more cruisers for April 7th.

Medic589 01-14-2009 12:16 PM

Feb 20 - Mar 1?

Nicsnick 01-16-2009 03:57 PM

Anyone have room for 2 adults on March 19, 20, 21, 28, or 29th??? Either Wishes or Illuminations would be great!!! Thank You

TammyLynn33 01-16-2009 04:03 PM

Hi There Looking for room for me and my very well behaved..haha DS7

We are going April 20-28th..Pretty Please Anyone...Im doing BBB with DD3 am looking for special time with Mom and DS

Pm ME please:cheer2:

LuckyMistletoe 01-17-2009 09:16 AM

Sun. Feb. 8 Wishes Cruise to Share
I have a Wishes cruise to share:
  • Sunday, Feb 8
  • Departing from the Polynesian
  • 6 spots available


Rudegrle 01-17-2009 11:00 AM


Originally Posted by LuckyMistletoe (Post 29725187)
I have a Wishes cruise to share:
  • Sunday, Feb 8
  • Departing from the Polynesian
  • 6 spots available


sent you a pm

LuckyMistletoe 01-17-2009 04:45 PM

Illuminations Pontoon Cruise to Share, Tues. Feb 10
I have an Illuminations pontoon cruise to share:

Tuesday, Feb 10
Departing from the Yacht Club Marina
5 spots available


DWFan4Life 01-19-2009 03:56 PM

My family are planning on December for Christmas holidays, hope we can. We're still in the process of planning then afterward we can finalized our decision but still our minds can change every now and then, maybe we can set it early as December. :)

ansky922 01-19-2009 05:53 PM


Originally Posted by ansky922 (Post 29561995)
If anyone has room for 2adults and 1 DS (9) on an Illuminations boat :goodvibes
It would be great to surprise him
We will be there 2/15 - 2/20 :wave2:

Anyone going :sad2:

sherinmo 01-20-2009 09:51 AM

looking to share a cruise
My husband and I will be at WDW 4/29 thru 5/5. Checking to see if anyone is interested in sharing a wishes or illumination cruise.


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